No Time for Starlets, Autographs, Glitz or Glamour … Where’s the Fly Shop on Hollywood Blvd?

by | Oct 30, 2009 | baja billfish, calico bass, fly art, jackson hole wyoming, largemouth bass, long beach casting club, yellowstone national park

The weather here in Southern California is fabulous as it is most of the time. If it wasn’t for the traffic, living here would be a consideration from about January till April. The fishing here in the Pacific surf and local lakes with huge largemouth bass could keep the interest of any serious angler throughout the winter. I’m down in this neighborhood because I spoke to the Long Beach Casting Club last night. Long Beach is a large city located in Southern California on the Pacific coast. It is situated in Los Angeles County, about 20 miles (32 km) south of downtown Los Angeles. Long Beach borders Orange County on its southeast edge. The Douglas Aircraft Company (later McDonnell Aircraft Corporation and now part of Boeing) had plants at the Long Beach Airport where they built aircraft for World War II, and later built DC-8s, DC-9s, DC-10s, and MD-11s.

Founded in 1925, the Long Beach Casting Club is a fantastic group of serious anglers and casters that take great pride in their club. They have a really gorgeous facility consisting of a classic clubhouse with walls covered with unique fishing artwork and fly collections. There’s even a lighted casting pond right outside the front door – it’s awesome! As one of the oldest continuously operating fly fishing clubs in the country, they have a rich history of contributions to the sport, i
ncluding several world and many national tournament casting champions. Two of their members are American Casting Association Hall of Fame Honorees, while ten members have been casting All Americans.

The talk I gave is called “Four Seasons of the Yellowstone Troutbum“, and is one of my favorites to deliver and always draws a good crowd. Most fly fisherman have fished Yellowstone National Park a few times or if they haven’t, it is surely near the top of their “To Do” list. As I always do at these presentations, I arrived early and did a fly painting while folks watched and then donated it to the club. I’m staying here a couple days with good friend Rich Garrett whom I met in Jackson, Wyoming 20 years ago. Today we are just taking it easy. We spent an hour at the club casting pond. Rich and some of the other club members practiced their spey casting while I borrowed a 5-weight from Rich and worked on some long casts across the pond. Tomorrow Rich and I are taking out the sea kayaks with Mike Allen of Hobie Cat to try and scare up a few bonito, calico bass and whatever else wants to suck in a fly. A great way to kill a day in Southern California before I head down to Baja on Sunday, November 1st.

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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!